For those of you who don't know (probably most of you), there is a TB Control Law in
I was quite content to let these wheels turn at their own pace & get tested when I was told, but due to peer pressure at work (I will not go into it here, but it's really adding to my stress & feeling of leper-ness), and I have to push the bureaucratic cogs.
Anyone who has lived in
First of all, let me explain the standard process:
- Patient with active TB (The German) is admitted to hospital
- Hospital notifies K's local public health centre (in this case, Naka-ku,
- A representative from the public health centre goes to visit K and interviews him about his close contacts
- Health centre dude (or dudette) will contact potential sick people directly (if in the same ward) or the local public health centre of the potential bio-hazard (if in a different ward)
- Potential bio-hazards will be interviewed and if necessary be given a free pass to go to hospital to get tested.
- Potential bio-hazard goes to hospital & gets tested
- Gets results and is either very happy or embarks on a 6-month odyssey of tee-totalism, hospital visits and ostracism.
Steps 1~5 are supposed to take 7 to 10 days. However, due to the aforementioned peer pressure, I started trying on the 4th day. Great idea.
First of all, I called my local health centre (Nakahara-ku,
· There is free testing every Thursday (EXCEPT next Thursday!)
· I can only have free testing if I'm judged a potential bio-hazard
· To be judged a potential bio-hazard, Nakahara-ku needs to hear from Naka-ku.
But this lady was helpful enough to call Naka-ku to find out what was going on. So far no-one from Naka-ku has visited the German, nor has he been notified that someone will visit him.
Anyway, turns out that Naka-ku HAVE been notified. So, the Nakahara-ku lady said she could do the screening process with me over the phone. Basically, this consisted of a few questions about whether I have any symptoms and how close consumptive boy and me are. And she said I am not a risk. I ALREADY KNOW THIS. I AM NOT A DANGER. I AM NOT A BIO-HAZARD. But, I explained about the whole peer-pressure thing and how people around me are stressing out. And she said she would put the cogs of bureaucracy in motion and send me my free test pass. She also found a hospital near my station that does TB testing & told me to call to make an appointment.
Thank you, Nakahara-lady. You were calm & nice & accepted my foreignness without freaking out.
But nasty hospital bitch. I HATE YOU.
And why? So, I called the damn hospital to make an appointment.
Here's a rough translation of what happened:
Me: I'd like to have a TB test please
Hospital Bitch: Why?
Me: My boyfriend's been admitted to hospital with TB
HB: So, why don't you get tested at the hospital where he is?
Me: Because it's far away – in Shinjuku-ku
HB: So, why don't you get tested there?
Me: Because I live in Nakahara-ku, and your hospital is the nearest for me
HB: Did you call any other hospitals?
Me: No. This was the only number I have.
Me: Why what?
HB: Why don't you have any other numbers?
Me: Because this is the only number that the Health Centre gave me
HB: Why did they give you this number?
Me: Because you're nearest to my home.
HB: Hmmm. Do you have a letter from the Health Centre?
Me: Not yet, but they are sending me one.
HB: Well, when it arrives come to here with it & make an appointment
Me: I can't make an appointment now?
HB: No. you need to bring the letter.
Me: So, when I get the letter I come to the hospital?
HB: Yes. Goodbye.